Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Caves of Chaos Restock — Part One: Everything (Part Two)


This is the second half of our first step in restocking the Caves of Chaos. You can read the first half here.

Last time, we established who or what built, used, and inhabited it in the past. Now, we begin to establish who or what inhabits it now.

Again, we want to preserve the basic point of the Caves, where the players explore the territory of a variety of foes, some of which are allied with the inhabitants of other caves, and which present a variety of challenges to the players.

Using the Red Box monster list as a suggestion, and guided by the previously-established history, I've started to flesh out the inhabitants at the most basic level:
  • A - Fungi/Giant Bugs
  • B - Ghouls
  • C - Goblins
  • D - Goblins
  • E - Special
  • F - Orcs
  • G - Special
  • H - Wizard and Minions
  • I - Oozes
  • J - Cultists
  • K - Elves

I've chosen this mix to include both "regular" humanoids, undead, wildlife, and a couple of "specials." This should make some of the areas of the cave both feel different and present different kinds of challenges to the PCs.

In order to underline and complicate these differences, i'm also going to relate certain caves to each other factionally. These relationships will be more obvious than in the original version, and hopefully offer more choices to the PC when it comes to allies of convenience or sources of information. These faction-relationship will form the other half of the 'story' of the dungeon as it changes in response to PC actions.

Each faction is first formed by connecting areas to each other:

A - Fungi/Giant Bugs - Purple B - Ghouls - Orange C - Goblins - Green D - Goblins - Purple E - Special - None F - Orcs - Orange G - Special - None H - Wizard and Minions - Green I - Oozes - None J - Cultists - Orange K - Elves - Purple

This provides us with the following factions and sub-factions.

  • Faction One (areas K, D, A): The elves, goblins, and their fungi
  • Faction Two (areas J, F, B): The cult of Orcus, the orcs, and ghouls - J, F, B
  • Faction Three (areas H, C): The wizard and goblin minions - H, C
  • Faction Four (area E): Special
  • Faction Five (area G): Special
  • Faction Six (area I): Oozes

With these relationships in mind, we can also start to flesh out our ideas about what each group is like. I’m going to start just with an evocative name that suggests evocative imagery:

  • A - Fungus Garden
  • B - Shadow Ghouls
  • C - Clan of the Pallid Eye
  • D - Redcaps Clan
  • E - “Ghosts”
  • F - Bonesplinter Cadre
  • G - Aged Lamia
  • H - Arch-inquisitor of the Pallid Eye
  • I - Pit of the Oozes
  • J - Cult of Orcus
  • K - Deep Elves

These links will, of course, change over time. Most obviously if one part is wiped out, but also in response to stress or the movement of other factions or other unusual circumstances. If the goblin chief is killed, perhaps the remainder may ally with the other goblins instead of remain loyal otherwise. The wizard may cut a deal with new groups to serve his ends. Oozes might feed on carrion left in an emptied area and colonize it as well. Et cetera.

Next time we'll start stocking the caves themselves, starting with... outside the caves.

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